Driver rescued from flooded Bowie bridge -- Gazette.Net


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This story was updated 2:47 p.m., April 30, 2014.

Governors Bridge Road was closed Wednesday due to high water, but that didn’t stop one driver who thought — incorrectly — that his car could cross the water, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS officials said.

“He isn’t in any immediate life-threatening danger and we have initiated a water rescue,” said Mark Brady, Prince George’s County Fire/EMS spokesman.

The man was rescued by Fire/EMS officials who have been responding to crashes and monitoring local roads that typically flood during heavy rain, Brady said.

The driver, who was uninjured, serves as a reminder to motorists during today’s heavy rain that road signs should be heeded and closed roads avoided, Brady said.

“Flooded road, turn around, don’t drown,” Brady said.

Northbound Baltimore Avenue at Ammendale Road in Beltsville has also been closed due to high water, Maryland State Highway Administration officials said. Baltimore Avenue will remain closed until the water recedes enough to make it passable, officials said.

Governors Bridge Road, which floods often during heavy rain, will likely reopen late Friday or Saturday due to more forecasted rain Wednesday evening and Thursday, county public works officials said.

The closed road will still allow residents to make it to their homes, but other motorists will need to use an alternate route if they use the bridge, said Carol Terry, Prince George’s County Department of Public Works and Transportation spokeswoman.

“Through traffic needs to stay away,” said Terry.

Charlie Gischlar, SHA spokesman, said he urged residents to slow down on wet roads because cars can hydroplane, a situation where the car’s rubber loses traction on the roads.

“if you hydroplane you are losing complete control over your vehicle,” Gischlar said. “It is like you are water skiing.”

Due to the heavy rainfall, public works officials are monitoring all roads and keeping a closer eye on the flood-prone roads of Brock Bridge Road in Laurel, Sunnyside Avenue in Beltsville and Cherry Tree Crossing Road and Floral Park Road in Brandywine, Terry said.

SHA is also monitoring roads, especially Water Street in Upper Marlboro, another flood prone street near the county courthouse, Gischlar said.

Roads that become dangerous will be closed, officials said.

ccook@gazette.net